Photos from World of O
Photos from World of O
RELAY TEAMS are: Women – Rachel, Vanessa and Aislinn. Men – Simon, Julian and BJ. The women’s relay starts at 7.30pm Eastern Aus time, and the men’s at 9.30pm.
Julian and Aislinn, our two representatives in the long final, ran solidly for fine results.
Julian’s 30th follows on from his best ever 24th in the long last year, thus showing his consistency. Julian took 114 mins and was 19.36mins behind the winner. This performance shows that good results are possible in the long distance for those willing to put the hard kilometres in.
Aislinn was running at her 2nd WOC and first ever final and handled the pressure admirably. Her main time loss seems to have been in a too wide a route choice on the long leg. The winner took 75mins and Aislinn was 24 minutes behind.
My long final day started with quarantine at a school in Cudy, before we were taken (by army truck, of course) to the pre-start. My nerves were running very high, having never before run in a WOC final. It was exciting and also a little scary to be fitted with a GPS tracker and to be filmed at the start, where an electronic start gate let me out onto my course.
“The terrain was similar to the long distance qualification, except with quite a few more contour features and some climb, making for a more interesting course. While there was still a great amount of tracks and vegetation changes, an extra challenge was posed by several deep creek networks crossing the map. The white areas on the map were still highly visible, but often had more cut timber and some slow undergrowth than the Qual.
I made sure to stick to my usual strategies, and got into a good rhythm right from the start of the course. I chose fairly conservative route choices, often taking track choices until the last moment, but made sure that I took advantage of them by running hard on the tracks. The first half to two thirds of the course was fairly clean, with just a small error on 5 where I lost maybe 45 seconds searching on the wrong side of the spur. I found out afterwards that my route choice on the long leg to 6 lost me some time; while I decided to go to the right and stick mostly to tracks, it was faster to go slightly left and cut through the clearer areas. The later part of the course saw me start to make some silly errors with my compass, as I began to feel very tired. On control 13 I lost around 2 minutes searching in a higher creek network, and then on control 15 I drifted off the hill to the left and had to come around to the control. The spectator run through was soon after, and it was a tough one! I would say it was roughly 800 metres long and complete with a nasty uphill section. It was a challenge to get out of oxygen debt to complete the small last loop, but I managed to get through it, making just one error on the last control. I had confused the finish chute with the spectator run through, so I ran away from the control! The atmosphere in the arena was fantastic with a full contingent of Aussie supporters cheering, as well as some New Zealanders. I had been winning the splits until the end, which I am told made for some exciting watching.
The women’s course played out much as everyone had expected, which was not so sad! The Swiss supporters were of course ecstatic to see Simone win. I ended up in 35th, which I am very excited about for my first final. Hopefully if I can continue to improve, I can get an even better result next year.
As Julian was a later starter, he sadly did not get as much air time as me, and we saw little of his GPS tracks on the screen. However, WiFi at the arena meant we could watch him online. He had very competitive route choices, often taking the same routes as Swiss Matthias Merz, who took the silver medal. He seemed to lose little time, with just a few seconds in some early control circles, and a small mistake at control 19. He ran very strongly to take out 30th place, and said that he was mostly happy with the result.”
Swiss super-star Simone Niggli displayed outstanding fitness to win her 19th World Title by about 90 secs! Middle distance champ Minna Kauppi was 2nd and Swede Annika Billstam was third.
Controversy occurred in the men’s when Swiss youngster Fabian Hertner was disqualified from a medal after mistakenly punching the women’s control at the 2nd TV & radio control. Although the controls were very close (41m), they had distinctly different numbers (43 & 60) and were on a 3×3 depression and a spring; the Swiss team did not lodge a formal protest.
Men’s winner was Norwegian young gun Olav Lundanes who also had won the WOC long in 2010. Australians will remember him as the star at Jwoc 2007 in Dubbo where he took gold in the middle and long and silver in the sprint and relay! Olav took 94.42 mins and had almost a 3 minute winning margin. Matthais Merz (Swiss) was a popular 2nd and Latvia’s Edgars Bettuks won the bronze, to add to his gold in the middle.
There are lots of maps and leg by leg discussions on the World of O site. The diversity of orienteering was again demonstrated with 6 different nations on each podium. The relays on Saturday should be super exciting.